Sixers Hire Eddie Jordan

Sixers hired Eddie Jordan as their next head coach. This is no surprise, because he is Stefanski's boy from their days at the Nets. Eddie Jordan has a head coaching record of 230-288 (Sacramento and Washington).

"I saw firsthand the immense impact Eddie Jordan had in helping the Nets reach two NBA Finals and as the head coach in Washington he consistently put his teams in a position to win on a nightly basis," Stefanski said Friday night. "He embodies all the qualities I was looking for in the next head coach of the Sixers and we are very excited to have him in Philadelphia."

It has been rumored that Jordan signed a multi-year deal worth about 4 million per season. The Sixers will have a news conference to announce Jordan as the next head coach sometime on Monday.


Hooray For Interleague Play

Well the time is upon us baseball fans. Time for Leagues to collide in Interleague play. Baseball purists—as they like to call themselves—loath the idea of the National League and American League meeting in the regular season.

But no matter what a purist tries to argue, Interleague play is good for baseball. Over the course of a long 162 season, baseball can become monotonous. Fans don’t exactly clamor for tickets when the Marlins or Pirates come to town. But tickets are damn near impossible to find when the Red Sox and Yankees come to your stadium for 3 games out of the year.

The Phillies enter new Yankee stadium after winning 6 of 7 seven games in Washington and Cincinnati. The Phillies are playing good baseball but they still need to prove they can beat strong competition. The Yankees have won 9 straight games and will provide Phillie fans with must see TV.

The storylines are a plenty. Alex Rodriguez already appears to be in mid season form. Will Brett Myers be able to keep him in the park? JA Happ has finally grabbed a spot in the rotation. But I’m sure he would’ve of liked to face a warm-up team that didn’t include A-Rod, Teixeira or Jeter. If he can survive Saturday, then he may just have some staying power. And Sunday afternoon looks to be a pitcher’s dream. Cole Hamels vs. CC Sabathia. Hamels out-dueled the hefty lefty in the postseason last year. So will CC get his revenge now that he wears pinstripes.

It only three games and that’s probably why it's so fun to watch. If you miss the games this weekend, you’ll have to wait a couple of years before the Phillies face the Yankees again. Interleague play works because it is not over-saturated. The cross league games don’t usually sink or save a team’s season. They just make it a little more interesting for a few weeks.


NBA Mock Draft (5/20/09)

1. Los Angeles Clippers - Blake Griffin PF Oklahoma
2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio PG Spain
3. Oklahoma City Thunder – Hasheem Thabeet C UConn
4. Sacramento Kings – Brandon Jennings PG Italy
5. Washington Wizards – Jordan Hill PF Arizona
6. Minnesota Timberwolves - James Harden SG/SF Arizona State
7. Golden State Warriors – Tyreke Evans PG Memphis
8. New York Knicks – Stephen Curry, PG/SG Davidson
9. Toronto Raptors – Earl Clark SF Louisville
10. Milwaukee Bucks – DeMar DeRozan SG USC
11. New Jersey Nets – DeJuan Blair PF Pittsburgh
12. Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Henderson SG Duke
13. Indiana Pacers – Jonny Flynn PG Syracuse
14. Phoenix Suns – Jrue Holiday PG/SG UCLA

15. Detroit Pistons – James Johnson PF Wake Forest
16. Chicago Bulls – B.J. Mullens C Ohio State
17. Philadelphia 76ers – Eric Maynor PG VCU
18. Minnesota Timberwolves – Terrence Williams SF Louisville
19. Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Teague PG Wake Forest
20. Utah Jazz – Tyler Hansbrough PF UNC
21. New Orleans Hornets – Austin Daye SF Gonzaga
22. Dallas Mavericks – Ty Lawson PG UNC
23. Sacramento Kings – Chase Budinger SF Arizona
24. Portland Trailblazers – Patrick Mills PG St. Marys
25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Taj Gibson PF USC
26. Chicago Bulls – Sam Young SF Pittsburgh
27. Memphis Grizzlies – Omri Casspi SF Israel
28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wayne Ellington SG UNC
29. Los Angeles Lakers – DaJuan Summers SF Georgetown
30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Nick Calathes PG Florida

31. Sacramento Kings - Darren Collison PG UCLA
32. Portland Trailblazers - Dionte Christimas SG Temple
33. Washington Wizards - Curtis Jerrells PG Baylor
34. Denver Nuggets – Gani Lawal PF Georgia Tech
35. Memphis Grizzlies - Jerel McNeal SG Marquette
36. Detroit Pistons – Marcus Thornton PG LSU
37. San Antonio Spurs – Lester Hudson SG Tennessee-Martin
38. Portland Trailblazers – A.J. Price PG UConn
39. Detroit Pistons – Toney Douglas SG Florida State
40. Charlotte Bobcats - Tyrese Rice PG Boston College
41. Milwaukee Bucks - Damion James SF Texas
42. Los Angeles Lakers – Wesley Matthews SG Marquette
43. Miami Heat – Stefon Jackson SG UTEP
44. Detroit Pistons – Jerome Jordan C Tulsa
45. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jeff Adrian PF UConn
46. Cleveland Cavaliers – Goran Suton PF/C Michigan State
47. Minnesota Timberwolves – Derrick Brown SF Xavier
48. Phoenix Suns – Craig Brackins PF Iowa State
49. Atlanta Hawks – Ben Woodside PG North Dakota State
50. Utah Jazz – Jonas Jerebko SF/PF Sweden
51. San Antonio Spurs – Danny Green SG/SF North Carolina
52. Indiana Pacers – Jeff Pendergraph PF Arizona State
53. San Antonio Spurs – Josh Heytvelt PF/C Gonzaga
54. Charlotte Bobcats – Jermaine Taylor SG Central Florida
55. Portland Trailblazers – Robert Dozier PF Memphis
56. Portland Trailblazers – Jon Brockman C Washington
57. Phoenix Suns – Dante Cunningham SF/PF Villanova
58. Boston Celtics – Josh Akognon PG Cal State Fullerton
59. Los Angeles Lakers – Chris Johnson PF/C LSU
60. Miami Heat – Jack McClinton SG Miami


NBA Draft Lottery Re-Done

With the NBA Draft lottery tonight, we decided to go back to the years 2000-2005, and re-do the lottery picks of each of those drafts. Meaning that if the teams were to pick players today knowing what we know, who would they pick. There was one really bad draft (2000), and a really good draft (2003). There was a month long argument about who would go first overall in 2002, Yao Ming, or Amare Stoudemire. It came down to multiple tiebreakers to decide the winner of that 2002 draft. We have listed 1-14 who the teams actually should take now, with what pick that player actually was in that draft in parentheses. Current Sixers players Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams are in bold. Find out the results of our new lotteries below--

Actual Top Pick: Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati
1. Michael Redd, Ohio State (43)
2. Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati (1)
3. Hedo Turkoglu, Turkey (16)
4. Jamal Crawford, Michigan (8)
5. Jamaal Magloire, Kentucky (19)
6. Mike Miller, Florida (5)
7. DeShawn Stevenson, Washington Union HS (23)
8. Quentin Richardson, DePaul (18)
9. Morris Peterson, Michigan State (21)
10. Keyon Dooling, Missouri (10)
11. Eddie House, Arizona State (37)
12. Desmond Mason, Oklahoma State (17)
13. Stromile Swift, LSU (2)
14. Eduardo Najera, Oklahoma (38)

Actual Top Pick: Kwame Brown, Glynn Academy
1. Tony Parker, France (28)
2. Pau Gasol, Spain (3)
3. Joe Johnson, Arkansas (10)
4. Gilbert Arenas, Arizona (31)
5. Mehmet Okur, Turkey (38)
6. Richard Jefferson, Arizona (13)
7. Tyson Chandler, Dominguez HS (2)
8. Jason Richardson, Michigan State (5)
9. Zach Randolph, Michigan State (19)
10. Shane Battier, Duke (6)
11. Eddy Curry, Thornwood HS (4)
12. Jamaal Tinsley, Iowa State (27)
13. Troy Murphy, Notre Dame (14)
14. Gerald Wallace, Alabama (25)

Actual Top Pick: Yao Ming, China
1. Yao Ming, China (1)
2. Amare Stoudemire, Cypress Creek HS (9)
3. Carlos Boozer, Duke (34)
4. Tayshaun Prince, Kentucky (23)
5. Caron Butler, UConn (10)
6. John Salmons, Miami (26)
7. Nene, Brazil (7)
8. Luis Scola, Argentina (55)
9. Udonis Haslem, Florida (Undrafted)
10. Drew Gooden, Kansas (4)
11. Mike Dunleavy Jr., Duke (3)
12. Matt Barnes, UCLA (46)
13. Roger Mason, Virginia (30)
14. Ronald Murray, Shaw (41)

Actual Top Pick: LeBron James, St. Vincent-St. Mary HS
1. LeBron James, St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (1)
2. Dwyane Wade, Marquette (5)
3. Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse (3)
4. Chris Bosh, Georgia Tech (4)
5. David West, Xavier (18)
6. Josh Howard, Wake Forest (29)
7. Mo Williams, Alabama (47)
8. T.J. Ford, Texas (8)
9. Boris Diaw, France (21)
10. Leandro Barbosa, Brazil (28)
11. Mickael Pietrus, France (11)
12. Kirk Hinrich, Kansas (7)
13. Chris Kaman, Central Michigan (6)
14. Kendrick Perkins, Ozen HS (27)

Actual Top Pick: Dwight Howard, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy
1. Dwight Howard, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy (1)
2. Al Jefferson, Prentiss High School (15)
3. Josh Smith, Oak Hill Academy (17)
4. Ben Gordon, UConn (3)
5. Devin Harris, Wisconsin (5)
6. Luol Deng, Duke (7)
7. Andre Iguodala, Arizona (9)
8. Jameer Nelson, St. Joes (20)
9. Emeka Okafor, UConn (2)
10. Delonte West. St. Joes (24)
11. Kevin Martin, Western Carolina (26)
12. J. R. Smith, St. Benedict’s Prep (18)
13. Andres Nocioni, Argentina (Undrafted)
14. Anderson Varejao, Brazil (30)

Actual Top Pick: Andrew Bogut, Utah
1. Chris Paul, Wake Forest (4)
2. Deron Williams, Illinois (3)
3. Andrew Bynum, St. Joseph HS (10)
4. Danny Granger, New Mexico (17)
5. Monta Ellis, Lanier HS (40)
6. Marvin Williams, UNC (2)
7. Jose Calderon, Spain (Undrafted)
8. David Lee, Florida (30)
9. Raymond Felton, UNC (5)
10. Hakim Warrick, Syracuse (19)
11. Charlie Villanueva, UConn (7)
12. Andrew Bogut, Utah (1)
13. Lou Williams, South Gwinnett HS (45)
14. Jason Maxiell, Cincinnati (26)


Lito: Right or Wrong?

Recently, Lito Sheppard, former Eagle and current New York Jet blasted the Eagles, saying that the Eagles purposely limited his playing time after he put it out there that he was not happy with his contract situation. Not only did Lito talk about his own situation with the Eagles, he also intimated that Sheldon Brown will soon find himself in a similar situation, stating of Brown, "He ultimately won't even be playing before the end of the season. It's a known fact. I hope they prove me wrong." Most Eagles fans are not happy with Lito Sheppard, but is he wrong? Who is right or wrong in this whole contract situation in the NFL?

Each player and their agent are responsible for signing their own contract in the NFL, so if a player wants more money halfway through their contract, it is their own fault, because they are the ones who signed the contract in the first place. To make up for the fact that football contracts are not guaranteed, and the team can cut the player at any point, the player usually receives a sizable signing bonus when they sign the contract, which is guaranteed.

It also never helps when we as "normal," working class, non-millionaires have to listen to these multi-millionaire athletes complain about making more money. Sure, they are elite athletes, so they deserve the money that they make, but it still is not something that we as fans want to hear from the players. We generally feel that if a player signs a contract, they should honor it, and play through it.

Unfortunately, it isn't always that easy. Because football contracts are not guaranteed, the team holds the power. Not only does the team never have to renegotiate a contract, but they can also cut a player or ask a player to take a pay cut whenever they like. John Runyan was once asked to take a pay cut to stay here, and unfortunately, the player has minimal choices in that situation. The Eagles can go to a player, like they did to John Runyan, tell him that he has played well and done everything for the team, but is now getting older, and they would like him to take a pay cut, or he may get cut from the team.

Also, initially you would think that Lito saying that the Eagles purposely don't play players that give them the best chance to win regardless of their current contract situation is ridiculous. Let's take a look at the Michael Lewis situation. Michael Lewis was offered a contract by the Eagles, much like they offer a lot of their younger player, trying to lock them up for the long term. Most players sign this, as it is definitely tempting for a young player to sign and get long term financial security. Lewis, thinking that he was going to be the next Brian Dawkins, did not sign the contract, thinking he deserved more money. Lewis did not sign the contract, because he did not want to be in the situation that others like Lito, and Sheldon Brown find themselves in, regretting the contract that they initially sign.

So, even though the Eagles offered a contract to Lewis, as soon as he rejected it, all of a sudden the team felt he couldn't cover anybody anymore. Fact is, Lewis was not good in coverage, but the Eagles knew that before and after they offered him the contract. Not only that, they started Sean Considine at safety in place of Lewis after this, which was an absolute joke. You cannot honestly argue that Considine was a better player than Michael Lewis. Again, Lewis was by no means the all-pro safety that he thought he would become, but the Eagles were absolutely not a better team with Considine starting in his place. It was one thing to bench Lewis for a game or so, but to ride Considine into the playoffs seems fishy.

Another example may be Lito Sheppard himself - at least he certainly feels that way. Asante Samuel is better than Lito, and Sheldon Brown may be as well, but you cannot tell me that Joselio Hanson is better than Lito Sheppard, and should have been playing over Sheppard at the nickel spot in big games last season. If the team feels that Sheppard quit on them, or was dogging it out there, then that is fine, I do not have a problem with Lito sitting if that was the case.

I feel like there is no right or wrong answer to these contract questions and issues. While I find it annoying when a player feels they are entitled to more money because they play well, which is actually what they are supposed to do in the first place, I do not have a problem with a player asking for more money, simply because the team can cut or ask a player to take a pay cut. The signing bonuses are there for a reason, and many people feel like if a player wants to re-negotiate a contract, they should give back the signing bonus, which seems like a fair point.

Also, even though Michael Lewis may be a good example, I would like to think that Andy Reid, or more importantly, Jim Johnson is putting the most talented group out there to win each game.


Philly 4 Pack

The Eagles have been off since the mini camp, and we will next see action starting on May 20, when the rookies come in for Rookie Camp. The Eagles did announce the start of training camp, which will be July 26. Everyone is anticipating training camp, and the Eagles season to begin. The big battles this year for starting positions seem to be the following: Sean Jones vs. Quintin Demps at the safety position opposite Quintin Mikell. I know Mikell is a strong safety, and emerging as one of the best in the league, but he came into the league as a free safety, and could probably slide over there without missing a beat. However, it makes sense that you don't want to move Mikell, in which case, Jones could probably learn the free safety position by the time the season starts. Victor Abiamiri vs. Juqua Parker at the left defensive end spot should also be a good battle. Also look to see if Akeem Jordan can hold off Omar Gaither for the outside linebacker spot to start the season. On offense, it will be interesting to see how Reid lines up the Andrews brothers on the offensive line.

The Flyers are still watching the postseason from home, which is not acceptable for them. They need to make some changes this offseason. Take a look at some of things the Flyers need to do to turn things around here.

The Sixers, much like the Flyers got bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs early, but aren't in as good a position as the Flyers. The Sixers don't have much money, and are locked into some players for a lot of money and years. The Sixers also need a new coach, as interim coach Tony DiLeo stepped down, leaving the position vacant. Ed Stefanski will interview Eddie Jordan today to the spot. Doug Collins is the other name being thrown out as a serious candidate, along with Avery Johnson and Jeff Van Gundy as fringe candidates. They also need to focus on a draft, and will probably need to draft a PG that is available, as the draft is very deep in point guards.

The Phillies have not had a good week, losing two of three to the Braves and Dodgers. The pitching staff, while getting better, has still been subpar, however, the offense has gone cold. After scoring 10 last Friday, the Phillies have scored only 14 in the five games since then. The offense goes through good stretches and lulls throughout the season, and should bounce back from this. Chan Ho Park has put together two straight solid pitching performances, and Cole Hamels has looked to regain his form. However, Jaime Moyer is getting absolutely lit up every time he takes the mound. We all love Moyer; he is a Philly guy, and he finally broke through and won the World Series last year. However, it has been batting practice for the opposing team lately hitting off of him. The bullpen has not been that great either lately, and will need to get better, especially Brad Lidge, who has been giving up a lot of runs this year. The Phillies play four this weekend against the Nationals, with Happ getting his first start of the year on Saturday during the double-header. The Phillies are 16-16, two games back of the first place Mets.


Will Ferrell on Man vs. Wild

When Man vs. Wild first came, I thought it was the coolest show ever. Bear Grylls was insane in a great way. Then it came out that he secretly stayed in hotels and some things were staged. This took away most of the greatness of the show and I really have not watched it since. Now word has come out that in early June, Will Ferrell will appear with Bear for an episode. This is exciting news, although Will Ferrell's movies are not as funny as they used to be, he should be hilarious when conversing with Grylls. More to come when the air-date of the episode is announced.

Hollywood: The Pussification of America Continues

Today, one of the top stories in the news is that the parents of the kid that Big Baby Davis plowed over after celebrating a winning shot in game 4 have demanded that the Celtics and the NBA apologize, stating that Davis was acting like a "raging animal with no regard for fans' personal safety."

This is just another incident indicating a growing trend that is taking our country by storm: People are becoming pussies. As I type this, I hear that Mark Cuban is issuing an apology to K-Mart and his family for uttering that he was a “thug” or a “punk.” Well, now there is a word we can all call you; “vagina”

Every day it seems, somebody is crying and demanding an apology from someone for doing something that, if they were a man, they would be able to shake it off and move on with their life. Whether it be an attempt to achieve fame and get their name in the news, or an actual lack of a penis and overabundance of estrogen in their bodies, people need to fucking stop.

Yeah, the guy was excited he just tied the series with a ridiculous shot. God forbid he act enthusiastic about it. How about instead of whining about his actions, you tell your spoiled ass kid to sit down and not be so close to the court. The kid’s like 11 years old and sitting courtside at a playoff game, neither he nor his parents should be complaining about shit.
And jeers also to Cuban. Fuck political correctness, you spoke your mind. K-Mart is a punk. You are one of the few people in sports who have the balls to tell it like it is, please don’t tell me you’re going soft on us too.

So as the sports continue this week, we will continue to see bitch foul calls, penalties for breathing on Ovechkin and Crosby, and guys getting in trouble for admitting he threw behind a hitter to send a message, even though he didn’t even come close to hitting him. What is going on with sports? Truly, it is a microcosm of what is going on in America. People are whining and crying and being little bitches, and it is considered ok. I only hope Big Baby Davis holds a press conference and people think he is going to apologize, only instead, he says something like “A. You should apologize for being racist by calling me an animal and B. Your bitch son shouldn’t have been that close to the court.” Of course, that will never happen. From athletes to owners to fans, everyone is becoming just like Davis himself; a big baby.

Get Ready for Lost Finale


Philadelphia MLS franchise….Philadelphia Union

Today, at a ceremony at City Hall, the Philadelphia MLS franchise released its (already leaked) name and logo. The Philadelphia Union pays homage to our working-class city. We at Kotite’s are very excited for this moment being big soccer fans. The logo is cool. It has 13 stars for each one of the original colonies, of which Philadelphia was the capital. Within the circle it has the colors of the Philadelphia Flag. Under Union, it has the rattlesnake from a 1754 Ben Franklin cartoon. A little shot out to the greatest MLS fan club already, the Sons of Ben. The team colors (Navy Blue and Gold) were the colors of the American Continental Army. A secondary Logo has the shield with the saying JUNGITE aut PERITE (Join or Die). The team at the Union did a great job researching and picking an appropriate name and logo.

Who's Next? - Possible Steroid-Enduced Seasons

After Manny Ramirez got suspended 50 games last week for hCG use it made me think who will be the next new name to come out in MLB’s steroid scandal? We all know the commonly accused players like Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Mike Piazza, but what about some new names. I don’t want anyone on the Mitchell Report, in anyone’s affidavit or in any new books coming out, I want all new names. I am just going but unusual spikes in stats and I am not accusing any player of using anything illegal, I am just saying that the stat spikes are suspicious.

So here is a list of 20 players that I think get overlooked. Some players are obvious, like Brady Anderson, Luis Gonzales and Adrian Beltre, while others may be surprising.

Moises Alou, CHC, 2004. In a contract year, Alou set a career high 39 HR at the age of 37. The last time he got close to that was 38 in 1998. In 2005 and 2006 he had a combined 41 HR.

Brady Anderson, BAL, 1996. He has one of the suspicious statistical jumps in a contract year. Here are his HR totals for his career 21, 13, 12, 16, 50, 18, 18, 24, 19, 8. With 50 HR in 1996 he almost doubled what he did the previous 4 years combined. And it took him 3 years to reach a total of 50 HR after 1996. Anderson never slugged over .500 before or after setting his career high with .637 in 1996.

Garret Anderson, ANA, 2000-03. There is no major jump in stats here but, for 5 straight years Garret was pretty consistent and averaged 14 HR and 78 RBI. But starting in 2000 his numbers increased by about 50%. In the 4 year span of 2000-03 he averaged 30 HRs and 120 RBI. Surprisingly his HRs dropped back to an average of 16 HRs and 84 RBIs in the next 5 years, starting in 2004 the first year of MLB's drug policy.

Tony Batista, MON, 2004. I just find it really odd that at the age of 30 Tony Batista had to go to Japan for a job in 2005. This after hitting 32 HRS and 110 RBIs in 2004. Jose Canseco talks about how he was blackballed because of his steroid use, what about Tony.

Adrian Beltre, LA, 2004. Every year Beltre was just around 20 HR and 80 RBI. In 2004, a contract year for Beltre, he hit 48 HR and had 121 RBI. Beltre’s slugging percentage went up 200 points and then dropped back down 200 points and the same went with his HR (19) and RBI (87).

Dante Bichette, COL, 1995. Previous career high of 27 HR in 484 AB, jumped to 40 in 579 AB. Lead league with .620 SLG previous hit .548 and after that .541

Ellis Burks, COL, 1996. HRs (40) in 685 ABs was increased by 19 from 1990 career high. Ellis had total 52 HRs in the previous 4 years (1992-95). RBI (128) was a increase of 36 from career high made in 1988. Burks had 177 RBIs in previous 4 years (1992-95). Stolen bases also went up to 32 a career high previously 27 at his rookie year in 1987. Ellis had 36 SBs in previous 6 years (1990-95). It wasn’t just the COL factor, since this was the 3rd years in COL. AB all were similar throughout the years so, stat increases like this seem a bit odd for some one of the age of 31.

Jermaine Dye, CHW, 2006. Set career high of 44 HR at the age of 32 when previous high was 33 in 2000. Jermaine always seemed to be a high RBI guy but in the 3 seasons before 2006, that he was healthy, he averaged 84. Then in 2006, Jermaine’s RBI spiked to 120. The following year Dye’s HR dropped to 28 and RBI to 78 in 2007. His slugging also dropped 140 points in 2007.

Cecil Fielder, DET, 1990. Cecil’s MLB career started off really slow. In 4 years he only had 31 HR, 84 RBI 506 AB in 4 years. In 1989 Cecil had to play in Japan in order to play every day. In Japan Fielder hit 38 HR in 384 AB. In 1990, Fielder’s HR jumped to 51 in 573 AB. Fielder’s numbers steadily declined each year since 1990.

Brian Giles, PIT, 1999-02. In 1999 Brian Giles’ HR (39) was an increase of 23 from the previous season. RBI (115) was an increase of 49. Giles’ slugging jumped 150 points from previous season. In 2003 the first year of anonymous testing Brian’s HR and slugging decreased to numbers that were consistent with his pre 1999 numbers.

Luis Gonzales, ARI, 2001. This season to me is the second worst one only to Brady Anderson. Here are the HR totals for Luis each year starting in 1996: 15, 10, 23, 26, 31, 57, 28, 26, 17, 24, 15. RBI totals: 79, 68, 71, 111, 114, 142, 103, 104, 48, 79, 73. In every season from 1996-06 expect 2004, Luis played at least 146 games. At the age of 33, Luis never had a season with 40 HR and he almost had 60 in 2001. He didn’t suddenly get more playing time plus started playing in a hitters park, he played in 140+ games every year since1996 and 2001 was his 3rd season in Arizona.

Shawn Green, TOR & LA, 1998-02. Shawn wasn’t really known for his power in his first 3 full seasons in MLB. Only hitting 42 HR in those 3 years, and collecting 152 RBI. Then starting in 1998, Shawn’s number spiked. Shawn averaged 38 HR, 118 RBI and had a slugging of .545 in the 5 year span. Now this isn’t too surprising, most guys are hitting their prime at the age of 25, which Green was in 1998, but to suddenly lose it in 2003 the first year of anonymous testing, is a bit suspicious.

Andruw Jones, ATL, 2005-06. Andruw averaged 30 HR in first 8 seasons, then hit 51 in 2005, and 41 in 2006, only follow by 26 in 2007. After being an everyday player for 8 seasons it seems suspicious that Andruw would all of a sudden hit 51 HR when his previous high was 36. Andruw’s slugging also increased by about 90 points from his 8 year average. Then in 2007, Andruw had a major slump for the entire season. Hitting .222, 26 HR, 94 RBI, .413 SLG.

Esteban Loaiza, CHW, 2003. Pitchers are hard to spot statistical spikes, so Esteban Loaiza is my only one on the list. From 1995 to 2002 Esteban Loaiza averaged an 8-9 record with 4.88 ERA and 5.4 K/9. In 2003 Esteban was 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA and had 8.2 K/9. From 2004-08 Loaiza averaged 7-6 with 4.81 ERA and 6.1 K/9. A big reason for this spike was that Loaiza had a huge salary decrease in 2003, from $6.05 mil in 2002 to $500,000. Then back up in 2004, back up to $4 mil. It’s clear that the suspicious season that Esteban Loaiza had in 2003 extended his career 5 more seasons, when it looked like he was on his way out after 2002.

Javy Lopez, ATL, 2003. 2003 was a contract year for Javy Lopez, and he made the most of it by hitting for a career high 43 HR. Javy’s previous high of 34 in 1998, which is a long time ago for a catcher. HR were on a steady decline for Lopez, 24, 17, 11 then 43. Since 2003, Javy hit 23, 15, and 8 HR. 2003 was also a career year for RBI with 109. RBI were declining since previous high in 1998 of 106; 89, 66 52 the 109 RBIs in 2003. Since 2003, 86, 49 and 35 RBI.

Fred McGriff, TB, 1999-02. After a steady decline in numbers the previous three years in HR (28,22,19) and RBIs (107,97,81), Fred McGriff turned back the clock when he hit 32 HRs, the most since 1994. Normally not a big deal but the man was 35 and he didn't get a chance to get his 500th HR only 7 HR short. Jose Canseco talks about being blackballed after 2001, maybe the same thing happened to McGriff in 2004 after cut by Tampa after 27 games.

Kevin Mitchell, SF, 1989. From the seasons of 1986-88 Kevin Mitchell averaged 17 HR, 64 RBI, .460 SLG and batted .268 in an average of 432 AB. In 1989 Kevin Mitchell won the NL MVP, the first Giant to do so since Willie McCovey in 1969. Mitchell hit 47 HR, 125 RBI, .635 SLG, and batted .291 in 543 AB. His HR spiked by about 150%, RBI by 50% and slugging by almost 200 points, with only 38 more AB. It doesn’t help that he was arrested in 1999 for assaulting his father and in 2000 he was suspended for punching the other team’s owner in the mouth. Mitchell also played for 8 teams in 13 seasons.

Alfonso Soriano, WAS, 2006. 2006 was a year of many changes for Alfonso Soriano. Soriano was traded to Washington and shifted from 2B to the OF in the all important contract year. A move to a pitchers ballpark you would think his HR numbers would decrease, but you would be wrong. Soriano’s HR total increased from 18 to 39 from 2001 to 2002, and since then has stayed consistently in the 30s, jumped from 36 to 46 in 2006. Since 2006 Alfonso hit 33 and 29 HR in 2007 and 2008.

Fernando Tatis, STL, 1999. After 19 career HRs and 87 RBIs in 2 years, with 755 AB, Tatis hit 34 HRs and had 107 RBIs in 639 ABS in 1999. A career AVG of .265, spiked to a career high BA of .298. Fernando was also out of baseball in 2004, the first year of the drug policy.

Greg Vaughn, MIL, SD, CIN, 1996, ’98, &’99. Contract years, huge spikes in production in HRs, RBIs, and SLG. All after turning 30. Career HR: 5, 17, 27, 23, 30, 19, 17, 41, 18, 50, 45, 28, 24, 8, 3. Career RBI: 23, 61, 98, 78, 97, 55, 59, 117, 57, 119, 118, 74, 82, 29, 5. Slugging: 1989-95 .445, 1996: .539, 1997: .393, 1998: .597, 1999-03: .466.


Quest For My McCoy Jersey

This Eagles offseason seems like it has been a good one for the team. They signed two offensive lineman to take over for Runyan and Thomas, and they got better, albeit, inexperienced at the skill positions by adding Maclin, McCoy, and Ingram in the draft. Being a Pitt graduate, and watching Shady McCoy play almost every one of his games the past two seasons, has made him instantly my new favorite player on the Eagles the moment he was drafted in the 2nd round. Due to the fact that I have a couple outdated Eagles jerseys, I figured I would try to become the first Eagles fan to rock a McCoy jersey this year.

Once the numbers were released, and McCoy was #29, I was ready to get my #29 Eagles McCoy jersey. Unfortunately, still being the offseason, players, especially the younger ones, can change jersey numbers easily before the season starts. So, the fact that McCoy was given #29 for the first minicamp could easily change, especially if McCoy doesn’t want to be #29. So, I have to think of what other numbers McCoy could possibly be. McCoy was #20 in high school, which won’t be given out, and should be retired. More likely, McCoy was #25 at Pitt, and if given the choice would want #25. Too bad Lorenzo Booker is #25, which brings in some added complications.

Still following me? Booker may very well be cut this offseason, leaving his #25 up for grabs, which McCoy might then take. Or, Booker may take the #28 jersey that was vacated by Correll Buckhalter, as this was his number in college, leaving #25 for McCoy. Too bad the cuts do not happen until the end of training camp and afterwards, so I will not know about any number changing until that time. This isn’t to say I hope Booker gets cut or anything, I actually like Booker, and root for the guy.

However, because of the above scenarios, I have to wait to get the coveted McCoy jersey. Also, all of my worrying and number theories may all be for naught, as Shady may not even care what jersey number he is, and is completely fine with #29 going forward. Some players are extremely superstitious about their number, while others could care less. Short of going Robert De Niro in The Fan on Benecio Del Toro to make sure McCoy gets #25 from Booker, I will just have to wait it out to find how this number situation plays out to get my McCoy jersey.

Or, since we are kind of a big deal at Kotite’s Corner, I am reaching out to LeSean McCoy, my fellow Pittsburgh Panther, to let me know if I should buy the #29 jersey right now, or if he has some insight on what he is planning on doing, and wait to see what number he ends up with when the final roster is set. Shady – I know you are reading this, and are probably a frequent visitor to Kotite’s Corner, as many Philadelphia athletes are. Get at me, so I can achieve my goal of being the first Eagles fan with a McCoy jersey, because in a few years, everyone will want one.

Philly 4 Pack

Let's start with the Eagles, who as we have mentioned had what seemed like a very good draft. Right now, the Eagles are better on paper than they were at the end of last season. Not only that, they put themselves in a good situation for next year's draft by having a lot of picks to work with, which you know they love. Time will tell if the draft pick's and acquisitions actually work out, but it seems like most are happy with the moves. I am a little nervous about Jeremy Maclin, and his ability to contribute right away, and learn the offense. Since he played in a spread offense in college, his numbers are a little inflated, and he has never done a lot of the stuff he will be asked to do on the Eagles. The Eagles just completed a successful mini camp, and the next thing on the horizon for them is Rookie Camp, which begins on May 20.

The Flyers are watching the rest of the NHL playoffs from their TV's, and the golf course. Recently, the Flyers have shown some interest in goaltender Ray Emery, formerly of the Ottawa Senators, and most recently playing in Russia. Emery is a little bit of a head case, but is only 26 years old. The Flyers definitely have some decisions to make at the goaltender position this offseason as both Biron and Niittymaki are free agents. Biron is a little bit above average, but nothing special, while it seems like the Flyers do not have the same high hopes they once had for Niittymaki. The Flyers also need to add a good, young defenseman like Joy Bouwmeester of the Panthers. Look for the Flyers to dangle Danny Briere and Simon Gagne as trade bait to see what they could get for them.

The Sixers, much like the Flyers are watching the NBA playoffs from home. The Sixers are in a bad situation right now, with a lot of money tied up in certain players, and thus not much room to make any moves. They have a lot of money and years invested in Iguodala, Brand, and Dalembert. Dalembert really should not be a starter for this team, and I would love to see him not on this team. Willie Green should also not be a starter. Lots of rumors going on right now about trading Iguodala, possibly for Tracy McGrady. Andre Miller, who may have been the best player down the stretch for the Sixers, will most certainly not be on the team next season, which means the Sixers need to address a point guard for the future, along with a big man.

The Phillies are in first place in the NL East, but are not really winning conventionally or easily. The pitching staff, mostly the starters have continued to struggle. Chan Ho Park finally had a very good outing last night in a 1-0 loss to the Mets. Let's hope he can build off of that good start. Brett Myers has flat out not been very good. Jaime Moyer is what he is, which is an average starting pitcher. Cole Hamels, despite leaving the last two games with minor injuries, looks like he is getting better with each start. The offense has been strong, and is the main reason that the Phillies are in first place. The Phillies have scored the 3rd most runs in the NL, and are doing it without much contribution from leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins. Once Rollins gets going, look out. The Phillies sit at 14-11, with a 1 game lead over the Marlins in the NL East.

Barcelona destroys dream of Chelsea and their fans

At Stamford Bridge in the second game of the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea was up 1-0 and on their way to the final versus Premier League rival Manchester United. In the third minute of injury time, Andres Iniesta beat star goalie Petr Cech to tie the game 1-1. With a few questionable calls with fouls on Barcelona in their own 18, the Chelsea players got in the face of the ref as if they were Ron Artest on Kobe Bryant. The aggregate score was 1-1, and instead of an overtime period or shoot-out, the away goal weighs more and Barcelona advances. We at Kotite's although soccer fans, do not understand this rule and know something like this would not fly in American sports. All of that being said, it was a great game and we are pumped that Barcelona advanced to the finals. Right now Barca and Man U are the two hottest teams in soccer and it should make for a great game on May 27th in Rome.


Happy LeSean McCoy Month

I figured it's been about 3 or 4 posts since my last Shady McCoy post, which means one is definitely due. And if you are sick of McCoy posts... too bad, get used to it, it's only May. Since it is May, this can only mean one thing. It is LeSean McCoy Month in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, McCoy's hometown. Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed read a proclamation this afternoon that pronounced May "LeSean McCoy Month." McCoy received the honor today at the City Hall in Harrisburg. Growing up in Harrisburg, going to school at the University of Pittsburgh, and now playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, McCoy has been all over the state of Pennsylvania, and is now honored with the month of May in Harrisburg. May just happens to be the same month as my birthday. Coincidence? Hmmmm.....

Pitching in a Pitch

The Phillies have regained their spot perched atop the NL East thanks the multiple come from behind victories and always adhering to that never give up attitude. The Phillies—and the fans for that matter—never feel like they’re ever out of a game. They’ve proven that several times this year including a late rally walk-fest against Atlanta in the season’s opening series and a seven run fury against the Marlins weeks later. But relying too heavily on the comeback could be a recipe for disaster.

At its core, a come from behind win is exciting. Watching Ryan Howard or Shane Victorino hit a grand slam to win a game is the kind of thing that makes the Phils fun to watch. But it also means something else. It means that the team was losing. And that is directly attributed to the lackluster starting staff.

Sure the potent line-up—Jimmy Rollins excluded—has provided enough dramatics to keep us fans smiling. And scheduled off days and unscheduled rain outs have kept the bullpen fairly fresh. But over the course of a long summer, sub par pitching won’t hold up. It won’t win a World Series. It won’t win the National League. And it may not even win the Division.

Cole Hamels has an excuse. It may not be a good one, but its an excuse. You can’t blame Hamels for Prince Fielder’s line drive, although he should be able to field a bunt without having to miss a start. We’re now in May, and the rust better start coming off of Hamels fast.

Brett Myers has been nothing short of a disappointment out of the gate. The hefty righty is playing for a contract but you wouldn’t know that by glancing at his bloated ERA. After watching Myers yield long ball after long ball, I sometimes feel like I could take him yard.

Jaimie Moyer is what he is. He’ll give you six innings of 3 or 4 run ball, take it or leave it. Joe Blanton has been like Jekyl and Hyde. He’s has throw three quality starts (ironically the Phils only won one of those games) to go along with several horrendous outings. Heavy B needs to find some consistency and keep us in games.

And Chan Ho may have used up all his good stuff in spring training. He wanted to be a starter so fans back in Korea could watch him pitch. I’m betting he’s wishing they weren’t.

It’s hard to complain when a team is in first place. But if things don’t start coming together, the stay at the top could be short lived. Ibanez, Utley, Howard and Victorino have grabbed all the headlines so far this season. It would be nice to see Myers or Hamels take the spotlight.

A Tale of Two Chumps

Part I
Brett Favre, just go away! What is it about "over the hill" that you don't seem to get? Why is the concept of making a classy exit, which would have been well deserved 2 years ago, so completely foreign to you? You dicked around with the Packers organization and fans, playing the "I'm retiring, no I'm not" game until they finally had no choice but to replace you -- at which point you cried like a little girl about being unfairly banished from your beloved frozen tundra. Your brief stint with the Jets was most notable for your refusal to bond with teammates, your disregard for learning the playbook, and your utter incompetence on the field. And now you think the Vikings starting QB slot should be handed to you? We're not sure who's crazier -- you or Childress! But we are sure about who's quickly becoming the biggest Chump in the NFL. So move over TO, make room Ocho Cinco, step aside Pacman -- Brett Favre is climbing aboard your Idiot's Express!

Part II
In yet another example of why anyone in women's professional tennis named Williams is a stone-cold Chump, we offer the following: Based on overall performance this year, the #1 WTA ranking has been earned by Dinara Safina, younger sister of former U.S. Open and Australian Open champ Marat Safin. In an interview prior to this week's Italian Open, Serena Williams loudly proclaimed, "Everyone knows who the REAL number 1 is. I'm the greatest player in the world!" Unfortunately for the Faux #1, Serena then proceeded to be bounced from the opening round, soundly losing to the obscure Swiss journeywoman Patty Schnyder. There were undoubtedly cheers throughout the locker room as Serena -- built like an ox on steroids and twice as ugly -- once again hoisted the Champion Chump trophy for all to see.


Do The Right Thing Eagles - Retire Dawkins Number

I am usually not in favor of retiring players' numbers after that player has left your team, and is currently playing for another team. For instance, I think the Sixers should wait to retire Iverson's number when he finally ends his illustrious career. You have to look at basketball numbers differently since you only have 12 players on your roster, and therefore it is much easier for management to prohibit a player from using number 3.

The Philadelphia Eagles are the self-proclaimed "gold standard" of the NFL. Go back about two months, and the Eagles took a huge public relations hit with the way they handled the Dawkins debacle. They basically slammed the door shut on a fan favorite, the best player to put on an Eagles uniform since Reggie White, and maybe the most loved of all-time. The Eagles as an organization did not want Dawkins' diminishing skill to be exposed out on the field, and thus chose not to resign him. Admittedly, Dawkins has lost a step, and was not the same defender he was in his prime in one on one coverage situations against an opposing wide receiver or tight end. Dawkins was still a beast at stopping the run and leading the defense to its greatness. He single-handedly forced two fumbles in the first half which blew the game open in the Eagles destruction of the Cowboys the final weekend of the season. Either way, no matter how the Eagles handled the situation of not resigning Dawkins and letting him sign elsewhere, they were going to come out looking bad. However, the way the organization handled the situation was nowhere close to the "gold standard" that they claim to be.

Brian Dawkins and the Denver Broncos come to Philadelphia on December 27th. This game will be emotional for everyone involved; the fans, the Eagles, and especially Dawkins. The Eagles should have a pre-game ceremony honoring Dawkins and retiring his number 20 into the Eagles Honor Roll. Dawkins will be done playing in a year or two and you want to rebuild the bridge that the Eagles organization burned so quickly this summer. He will be a great ambassador to the community, and for the team in general. This will also help to improve the Eagles recent image of not caring for their players. I also hope that this will keep Dawkins involved in Eagles football in some way, possibly by joining the coaching staff. Whatever happens with Dawkins after his career, the Eagles should feel obligated to honor Dawkins when he comes to Philadelphia late this season.


Eagles First Mini Camp Comes to an End

The Eagles wrapped up their first mini camp of the season today, and things are looking good for this team. With lots of new faces on the team, it is important to get these new guys so they can learn the playbook, and start to learn the system. It is especially important for 1st round draft pick, Jeremy Maclin, who has always played in a spread style offense, to get in here, and learn the offense that the Eagles run, as we will need him to contribute.

The young players looked good for the most part. They came out looking eager to learn and prove themselves. It is hard to tell much since there isn't much contact in this first mini camp, and no tackling. One of the few things that is worth watching is the cornerback vs. wide receiver battles. On running plays in these camps, since there is no tackling, the running back just hits the hole and takes off. On passing plays, however, the wide receiver is still trying to beat the cornerback, while the cornerback is still trying to make a play on the ball.

There are some position battles to look at this offseason. Shawn Andrews, while not in a position battle, started the entire camp at right tackle, in his brother's absence. According to Reid, Shawn may end up being the starter at right tackle, and from what Shawn was saying, he wants to be the starter at tackle. Stacy Andrews, and Todd Herramans sat out this mini camp with injuries. Last year's 4th round draft pick Mike McGlynn started at left guard this mini camp. On defense, you have both Victor Abiamiri and Juqua Parker splitting time with the 1st team at left DE, and it should be a good battle to determine that starter all offseason. In the secondary, there are some battles as well. Sheldon Brown, assuming he is on the team will probably start with Samuel, but you also have Ellis Hobbs pushing for a starting position at corner. At safety, Quintin Demps is penciled in at the early starter at free safety. However, you have a lot of guys at safety in this mini camp, with Macho Harris, and Sean Jones trying to get a starting spot.

It was a successful mini camp, and the young guys like LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, and Cornelius Ingram showed a lot of promise, and look like they will be able to contribute in some way right away. A rookie camp is next which starts on May 20.


Barcelona goes to Madrid and embarrasses them

Barcelona traveled to Madrid and humiliated the 2nd place team in La Liga. With the 6-2 victory, Barcelona pretty much wrapped up the La Liga title. Playing his best game in the Barca uniform, Thierry Henry scored two goals. The greatest player in the world, Lionel Messi also scored two goals. Also scoring for Barcelona was captain Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique. Sergio Ramos and Gonzalo Higuain scored for Madrid.

Barcelona now has to travel to Chelsea for the 2nd game of their UEFA champions league semi-final. Last week they tied 0-0 in Barcelona.


Sixers Can't Find Any Magic

The 76ers were eliminated last night in an embarrassing loss to the Magic, losing their first round series 4 games to 2. The Sixers suffered a 25 point loss to the Magic who were without Dwight Howard and Courtney Lee.

The Sixers have yet to win a playoff series since 2003, and this is the 2nd straight season that the Sixers went up 2 games to 1 in their first round series, and then proceeded to lose in six games. The game was ugly, and pathetic. The absence of Dwight Howard did not mean a thing. The Sixers continued to struggle on offense, and once again could not even get to 90 points. The Magic were doing anything they wanted offensively. Rashard Lewis had a big game, and so did Rafer Alston. Even backup center Marcin Gortat put up bigger numbers than his counterpart, Samuel Dalembert. Thaddeus Young never got anything going this series, and really played poorly. The only two Sixers who were consistent in this series were Iguodala and Miller.

There really is no reason to rehash the game, as it was pathetic. The Magic didn’t even really play an impressive series, and still won easily. I won’t go into the fact that the Magic have a bunch of punks on their team, mostly in Howard and Turkoglu, and led by their coach, Stan Van Gundy, who the players will soon quit on.

The Sixers face a lot of off-season questions this summer. Tony DiLeo did a respectable job getting this team to the playoffs, but he really is not a head coach in this league, nor should he be the head coach of the Sixers next season. As for the team, there are many issues, and I’m not sure how many can actually be addressed. The Sixers start two players who flat out are not good enough to be starters in Willie Green and Samuel Dalembert. We also rely on Andre Iguodala to be our #1 option, which he should not be. Iguodala should be a #2 or 3 option, and a facilitator. Iguodala has also stated that he can’t play the SG position effectively, which unfortunately has meant that Thaddeus Young has had to play the PF position. Thaddeus Young is not a PF, and should be the small forward. The Sixers are locked into so much money with contracts to Elton Brand, Iguodala, and Dalembert, so they can’t do much in free agency anytime soon. Andre Miller is most likely gone, which will hurt the team in the near future, as Miller carried the Sixers offensively at times, which you always need from your point guard.

With the 17th pick in the draft, the Sixers should address one of two positions: Point Guard or Center. This year’s draft is heavy on point guards with Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings, Jonny Flynn, Stephen Curry, Eric Maynor, Tyreke Evans, Jeff Teague, Ty Lawson, Patrick Mills, and Jrue Holiday all expected to be taken in the first round. Someone like Eric Maynor should easily fall to 17. Even if the Sixers are able to resign Andre Miller, it will only be to a 3 year deal. The Sixers need to address the future of their point guard with a draft that is stacked at that position. Watching this season, Thaddeus Young has an unbelievable upside and will be the best player on the team in a few years. However, he does need to put the work in to improve, especially on the defensive end. Part of the reason Young has struggled on defense is because he is playing out of position at Power Forward.

With the Elton Brand experiment coming back next season, can Iguodala play the 2, so Thad does not have to be the 6th man? When Brand was in the lineup and Iggy played the 2, he looked awful. Andre needs to learn to play the 2 this off-season. He is athletic enough to handle guarding 2 guards around the league, and for the most part, should be able to physically dominate them on offense. If he starts at 2, we can get rid of Willie Green. Willie Green is alright and we rip him often. He has overcome a lot in this world to get where he is. He is just not a starter in the NBA. He is a very serviceable 6th or 7th man on a roster. Along with Green, Dalembert needs to leave this team. He is a freak of nature. He could easily be a 12 and 12 guy consistently in the NBA. The problem, he thinks he is better than he is and does not always try. He is a cancer and needs to be removed. Hopefully, the Sixers can resign Miller, but Miller has always made it known that he prefers playing on the West Coast. Miller is one of the most underrated players in the NBA, and because he is a veteran, he may sign with a team like the Lakers where he can win now. Marreese Speights has shown promise all season, and may be the starter in place of Sammy next year. This small line-up will be an athletic tough match-up for other teams. No matter what, the Sixers have a lot of tough decisions coming up this offseason.